Charles Dickens Morality Is Innate In Great Expectations

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Morality is Innate Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations was set in Britain’s hectic Victorian era, which featured significant population growth and further industrialization. In this book, Pip reflects on the events of his past, including his acquisition of a large sum of money sent by an anonymous benefactor, falling in love with Estella, and forming numerous other complex relationships. One character that Pip propitiously befriended was Herbert Pocket, an ambitious but impoverished worker with aspirations to become a successful merchant. In his novel Great Expectations, Charles Dickens utilizes the character of Herbert to illustrate the theme that one’s morality does not depend on their financial status. One way in which Herbert proved the theme that morality does not depend on financial status was his kindness and hospitality towards Pip. Even though the two had just met, and all that Herbert knew of Pip was that he was much wealthier than him, Herbert felt a moral obligation to help Pip better fit into the fabric of upper-class society. This was shown when Herbert agreed to give Pip advice on how to improve his social etiquette so that he could become a gentleman. For example, Herbert jovially suggested to Pip at the dinner table that “in London it is not the custom to put the knife in the mouth” (Dickens 187). This indicated that even initially, it was Herbert’s goal to provide Pip with certain foundations for social proficiency among his future high-class peers.

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